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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Necklace With Two Golconda Diamonds Could Fetch $10 Million

The Eye of Golconda

“The Eye of Golconda,” A necklace featuring two statement Golconda diamonds will be the top lot at Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction on May 27.

The diamond pendant and emerald necklace has a 40.05-carat pear-shaped diamond and a 6.76-carat cushion-shaped diamond, both graded by the Gemological Institute of America as D color with internally flawless clarity. The former, the necklace’s pendant centerpiece, is the largest Golconda diamond ever available for auction in Asia. The necklace has a pre-auction estimate of $8.5 - $10 million.

Both diamonds are graded as Type IIa, which are a trait of diamonds from mines in the historic Golconda area of India. Type IIa diamonds represent less than 2 percent of the world’s production of gem-quality diamonds and are considered the purest form of diamonds and show exceptional optical transparency.

Golconda diamonds are often described as “Diamonds of First Water,” according to the auction house, because they are characterized by “an almost indefinable water-clear appearance that attest to their diaphanous quality and a degree of transparency rarely seen in stones from other localities.” Some of the most famous diamonds in the world are believed to have come from mines in the Golconda region including the Koh-i-noor, Darya-e Nur, the Nur-Ul-Ain, and The Hope Diamond.

The auction will have more than 300 lots with a combined estimate of more than $100 million. It includes several rare colored diamonds, colorless diamonds, rare Jadeite jewels, Burmese rubies and sapphires, and Colombian emeralds. Exclusive vintage jewelry pieces from Bulgari, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels complete the sale.

Other highlights of the auction include:

* A 9.38-carat pear-shaped fancy intense pink diamond on a ring with an estimate of $5.8 - $8.3 million.

* Two unmounted 26.08 and 26.20 carats D color flawless, Type IIa brilliant-cut diamonds. Each diamond has an estimate of $4 - $6.5 million. They have been awarded "Excellent" for polish, symmetry and cut grade, meaning that they exhibit perfectly aligned facets with an accuracy of up to 1/200th of an inch, while each of the facets is worked to the greatest possible smoothness.

* It wouldn’t be a Hong Kong jewelry auction without statement jadeite pieces. The top lot in this category is a jadeite bangle with an estimate of $3.8 - $6.5 million. Christie’s says it has the “perfect balance of the ideal color, texture and translucency” displaying a “vivid emerald green color with a saturation and tone that are neither too dark nor too light.”

* A Burmese “pigeon’s blood red” ruby and diamond jewelry suite by James W. Currens for Faidee has an estimate of $4 - $6.25 million.

The auction will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with public viewings beginning May 22.

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